Pondless Water Fountains: Types, Maintenance, And More

Learn All About Pondless Water Fountains And How They Can Spruce Up Your Maryland, DC, Or Northern Virginia Home

You can learn all about pondless water fountains right here!

A pondless water fountain is a decorative water feature. They can be standalone centerpieces or be added into an existing pond. The best part: they have many of the same benefits as ponds, but with less maintenance. Pondless fountains come in a wide variety, including:

  • Basalt fountains
  • Bubbling urns
  • Spillway bowls

Having a pondless waterfall can have an impact in your yard – the relaxing sound of running water, the beautiful sight of it flowing down, and if you light it up with LED lights the transformation can be amazing.

Let’s explore some of the benefits you can bring to your home with a pondless water fountain.

You can check out these 3 small water feature ideas >>

Pondless water fountains - 3 different types of bubbling urns

The Best Parts Of Having Pondless Water Fountains

You can bring these benefits to your home by installing pondless water fountains:

  • Have a place to relax as you listen to the soothing sounds of running water
  • An amazing feature for greeting guests at the front door
  • It can be nostalgic for those who grew up around water, sparking childhood memories

This video covers other benefits and shows some of our client’s outdoor fountain projects:

Let’s go into the 3 different types of fountains we regularly install.

Types Of Pondless Water Fountains


The ones we usually install are on the smaller side with one basalt rock inside a gravel area. The reservoir is usually in the ground, but we can put them above ground in a retaining wall.

Bubbling Urn

These work the same way as basalt fountains, but with a different style. The water rises up out of the middle and spills into a small basin and then flows over the side.

Spillway Bowls

This type of pondless water fountain is different from basalt or bubbling urn fountains. These are bowls that fill up with water and then gently spill out, either into a basin or another spillway bowl.

How To Create Pondless Water Fountains

Here is a quick overview of how a pondless water fountain is made:

  1. Dig an area for the reservoir, which houses the vault and water storage area
  2. Line the area with protective fabric and liner
  3. Fill the lined area with Aqua-blocks
  4. Disguise parts with rocks and gravel
  5. Add water
  6. Enjoy your pondless water fountain

The vault houses the pump that recirculates the water. Aqua-blocks fill the reservoir, keep the walls from caving in, and help store water. The pump in the vault recirculates the water through hidden plumbing right into a waterfall or stream which then flows back into the reservoir. 

You can see our pondless water fountains in our gallery >>

Pondless water fountains - stone basalt fountain flowing into small pond or pool

There can be a small pool in the reservoir to catch the water, creating the relaxing sound of a waterfall. It can also function as a bird bath!  If you don’t want any water in the basin we can make it disappear right into the rocks and gravel.

In areas where digging isn’t possible the reservoir can be constructed inside of a retaining wall above ground. For icing on the cake, you can add LED lights to your pondless water fountains for spectacular night viewing. 

Pondless water fountains - single basalt fountains inside natural area

Winterizing Pondless Water Fountains

Unplug it. Incredibly easy, winterizing a pondless water fountain is as easy as taking a charger out of an outlet. For ceramic pieces and fountains made of a breakable material, drain them as well or the water may freeze, expand, and crack the fountain

Pondless water fountains - 2-tiered black fountain in middle of above-ground pond

Plants For Pondless Water Fountains

Get out that green thumb and put a little blue in it with the best aquatic plants! The aquatic plants can be added in pots located under the splash zone to keep them wet. Any visible part of plant pots can be covered with rock and gravel.

Plants can also be set directly in rock and gravel as long as the roots can get wet. If you choose this method, make sure the plants are not fast growers. A water feature can be overtaken very fast by freely planted aquatic plants. 

Pondless water fountains - stone basalt fountain flowing into small pond or pool

Enjoy A Pondless Paradise

Low maintenance with high enjoyability, pondless water fountains are great for any home. Whether it be a single bubbling urn or a trio of basalt fountains, a pondless fountain should bring joy to you and those whom you share it with.

You can also see 3 types of backyard waterfalls >>